LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio analysts forecast the global glass fiber (GF) and glass-fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) composites market to grow at a CAGR of over 7% during the forecast period, according to their latest report.
The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global GF and GFRP composites market for 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, revenue generated through the sales of GF and GFRP for end-users such as transportation, construction and infrastructure, consumer goods, electrical and electronics, marine, and other is considered, taking 2015 as the base year.
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Technavio chemicals and materials analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global GF and GFRP composites market:
- Increased demand for lightweight fiberglass composites
- Increased demand for different blade sizes in wind energy sector
- Urbanization and infrastructure development
Increased demand for lightweight fiberglass composites
According to Ajay Adikhari, a lead analyst at Technavio for glass and ceramics research, “Global players in the automotive, construction, and aerospace segments are employing composite materials to create products that are cheaper, lighter, and stronger.” Further, these materials consume less energy during the forming processes when compared with their conventional metal counterparts. The lightweight of these materials also reduces the curb weight of the vehicles, thereby increasing efficiency.
The demand for composites in the aerospace segment is on the rise. Previously, composites were used mainly by the defense segment. However, the market for these materials is expanding in the commercial aerospace segment as they help increase fuel efficiency thus minimizing fuel costs. Moreover, the abrasion and strain resistance properties of composite materials enhance the lifespan of components. Therefore, aerospace end-users are consistently demanding composites for manufacturing structural and mechanical components.
The market for automotive composite products for pickup boxes, interior headliners, and door modules is also expected to grow considerably. The global motor production was 92.14 million units in 2015 and is expected to reach 108.95 million units by 2020. Therefore, the market poses high demand for GF and GFRP composites during the forecast period.
Increased demand for different blade sizes in wind energy sector
There is a shift toward sustainable energy resources globally. The wind energy sector is growing, and innovation in this field has become not only beneficial but also essential. Lightweight materials are used for manufacturing rotor blades of wind turbines. The blades must be able to withstand high stress under high wind speeds.
Combinations of fiberglass and carbon fibers find immense opportunities in the segment. In addition, glass composites also play a role in lowering the lifecycle costs for wind farms. Therefore, the need for stronger, lightweight materials such as GFRP is increasing in the segment.
Between 1990 and 2007, there has been a 50-fold increase in the world’s total wind electricity capacity. This capacity is predicted to increase by 10-fold by 2030 and 20-fold by 2050. This depicts the need for developing stronger and lighter materials that will enable manufacturing of blades for larger rotors for achieving such expansion targets. For instance, long carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced polyurethane blades were prepared with six GF mats using the vacuum bag technique. These blades have higher strength-to-mass ratios that enable the manufacturing of larger rotors, thereby enhancing the efficiency of the turbine.
Urbanization and infrastructure development
The construction industry is the second largest end-user of composites. This is attributable to the design flexibility, corrosion resistance, durability, easy installation, weatherproofing, and lightweight properties of composites. In the construction industry, composites are used in walls, roofs, flooring, windows, doors, and as a replacement of steel beams in buildings and bridges.
Population growth and urbanization are the prime factors driving the growth of the construction industry globally. The shortages in the availability of conventional raw materials have increased the demand for composite materials such as GFRP. Further, advances in architecture and the shift from traditional buildings to more sustainable and efficient architectures is expected to create growth opportunities for composites. “Moreover, innovations in material technologies aim to reduce the overall cost of end-products by 30%, thereby promoting the use of composites,” says Ajay.
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